(Top left pic is proper form for hip hinge – others are examples of going too far)
The “hip hinge” is the perfect natural movement exercise that can be done easily. The point is to feel and learn how to engage the muscles that attach to your pelvis/SI joint and knees and to help prevent or correct misalignment in the pelvis.
Easier said that done when you are hypermobile – right?
Yes, but small subtle “exercises” that help teach our bodies and brains to work together and engage the right muscles during the “natural movements” we do all day long, act like an insurance plan that helps protect the long-term functioning of the body.
These simple exercises frequently are done as we are moving through of our day, all add up over time. The point of the hip hinge is not to see if your hands can touch the floor, although that does give you a point of reference; however, bending all the way down and touching the floor is easy for a lot of us. Just because we can do it doesn’t mean we always should. Being able to bend over and touch the floor easily is also an indication of hypermobility of the lower spine and less about the “flexibility” of the hamstrings.
The real work is teaching our brains to understand the proper range of motion (i.e. Have better proprioception), which then sends and receives messages to muscles. These messages help our brains tell our body the correct muscles to use all day long – not just in PT or when we exercise. These messages also help our muscles use and strengthen the right muscles during the “natural movements” we do all day long.
Using the correct muscles all day long, restores alignment and function of our entire body – it is a biomechanical machine after all. Restoring alignment and function help decrease pain and fatigue from overuse, and constant and improper use.
Less pain and fatigue, not to mention overuse or inappropriate use when the body is misaligned and not activating the muscles it was made to use for specific movements, can cause deformity, disability and loss of function long-term.